James Harden To Return On Wednesday

5:23pm: Harden has been cleared to play tonight, tweets Malika Andrews of ESPN. He will be on a minutes restriction, according to head coach Steve Nash (Twitter link).

10:41am: Harden plans to play on Wednesday night, assuming his pre-game warmups go smoothly, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

8:21am: Nets guard James Harden has been sidelined since April 5 due to a hamstring injury, but his return appears to be imminent. Harden is expected to be a game-time decision for Wednesday’s game vs. San Antonio, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews of ESPN.

As the ESPN duo notes, Harden has expressed a desire to play in a “couple games” before the postseason gets underway. The Nets have three games left in the season, but their final two are on Saturday and Sunday — it’s unclear if the team would want the former MVP to play in a back-to-back set immediately upon returning.

The plan is for Harden to “gauge his readiness” ahead of Wednesday’s game before he and team officials make a decision on his availability, per Woj and Andrews.

Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving have played together just seven times this season, but even if Harden is cleared to return, tonight’s game may not be the eighth time the three stars are all available. Irving left Tuesday’s win over Chicago due to a facial contusion and is set to undergo further testing after an initial X-ray was inconclusive, according to Andrews.

While Irving has been cleared of a possible concussion, it would be a bit of a surprise if he’s back in action on Wednesday.

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